The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales water service restored


Last updated 11/4/2022 at 6:44am

PORTALES -- Water service has been restored in Portales according to city officials.

With the water back on a boil water advisory is in effect until further notice for water customers. To use water for drinking or cooking it should be brought to a boil; when the water boils it should be allowed to boil for one minute then it's ready for use, officials advised.

The Portales water system was shut down early Thursday because of a break in one of the city’s main water lines.

Portales City Manager Sarah Austin said the 24-inch PVC line, one of the system’s biggest, broke in the vicinity of Bryan Street.

Austin said the system was losing water so fast the system had to be shut down.

“They think rocks rubbing on the line over the years weakened the pipe,” Austin said. She said the rubbing action would’ve come from years of cars passing over the pipe.

For a time Thursday non-potable water was available at the city’s main fire station off Avenue C and at the C&S parking lot.

As a result of the water system shut down Portales schools and school offices were closed Thursday as was the campus of Eastern New Mexico University.

Roosevelt County offices were closed as were the offices for the City of Portales. Most local businesses also closed.

The water system shutdown is cited as the reason the ENMU campus remains closed Friday.

Classes are canceled for Friday.

The ENMU chancellor interviews scheduled for Friday will take place virtually only on Microsoft Teams, university officials said.

The ENMU-staff forum is scheduled for 10:30 a.m .; the ENMU-faculty forum is scheduled for 3 p.m.

For links to all meetings: and click on forums and Interviews.

Water problems are nothing new to Portales.

Portales residents woke to no water on Sept. 8, 2019, after a water main break near the intersection of Commercial Street and North Avenue E.

Sammy Standefer, city manager at the time, blamed the outage on "the usual problems." The pipeline, he said, was poorly installed 30 years ago and has continually caused outages in recent years. That weekend marked the second time within a five-year period the city was without water more than 24 hours; the sixth time in five years it had experienced a widespread outage.


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